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Pairs remain together on the nesting territory year-round and may mate for life. In his courtship display, which may be seen beginning in late winter, the male raises his head, spreads his tail, droops his wings, sways back and forth, and bows deeply. The male also performs much courtship feeding of the female.
White-breasted Nuthatches usually nest in large natural cavities or old woodpecker cavities, typically around 5 to 20 m above the ground. The nest, built by the female, is a simple cup of bark fibers, grasses, twigs, and hair. The usual clutch size is 5 to 9 eggs. The eggs, which are white with reddish brown spots, are incubated for 12 to 14 days by the female, who is fed on the nest by her mate. Young are fed by both parents.
Differences in vocalizations, morphology, and ecology among Pacific coast, interior montane, and eastern populations may indicate three or four distinct species (see Spellman and Klicka 2007; Walstrom et al. 2012).
(Kaufman 1996; AOU 1998; Spellman and Klicka 2007; Walstrom et al. 2012)